The Washington Nationals are headed back to D.C. with a 2-0 series lead in the NLCS after a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.
On hand to close out the game was Daniel Hudson, who you might have heard missed Game 1 on Friday to be with his wife after she gave birth to the couple’s third child in Arizona that morning. A player sitting out a playoff game so he could be present for such a special day was apparently outrageous to an always vocal segment of the sports world.
Among that group was former Marlins president David Samson, who decreed that Hudson could only miss the game if there was something wrong with his wife or newborn daughter.
Unreal that Daniel Hudson is on paternity list and missing game 1 of #NLCS . Only excuse would be a problem with the birth or health of baby or mother. If all is well, he needs to get to St. Louis. Inexcusable. Will it matter? #waittosee
— David P. Samson (@DavidPSamson) October 11, 2019
Chattanooga Times Free Press columnist and ESPN 105.1 FM radio host Jay Greeson also got in on the criticism as the game reached the late innings, saying that Hudson should have just been happy with photos of the occasion.
Nats closer Daniel Hudson's decision now comes into play. Hudson skipped Game 1 for baby No. 3 and we all hope momma and baby are healthy. But if you're making $5.5 mil a year and your team needs you to close in the NLCS, well, I'd say go get 'em mom and get photos. Thoughts?
— jay greeson (@jgreesontfp) October 12, 2019
Both bad tweets were hit with a torrent of angry replies, more than 5,000 in total as of Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the Nationals ended up not needing Hudson on Friday thanks to a combined one-hitter from Aníbal Sánchez and Sean Doolittle. Hudson then returned to the team in time for Game 2, where he got the save with outs against Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna.
After the game, the always outspoken Doolittle, who also appeared in Game 2, had a very succinct way to describe the people who had a problem with Hudson’s decision.
"If your reaction to someone having a baby is anything other than, 'Congratulations, I hope everybody's healthy!' you're an a**hole." -- Sean Doolittle on Daniel Hudson's paternity leave
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) October 12, 2019
That may as well be the final word on a very ridiculous controversy.
Before the game, Hudson addressed the matter as well in less profane, but still entertaining terms:
Hudson on the reaction to everything: “I went from not having a job on March 21 to being part of a national conversation on family values. Life comes at you fast.”
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) October 12, 2019
None of the Nationals have indicated they had a problem with Hudson, including the team’s manager.
“I told him, ‘Hey, family's always first.’ I understand,” Dave Martinez said before Game 1.
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